Terry Ruth wrote:I did with a hand tamper I got at Harbor Freight on some walls just to see what the worse case labor rate would be. It was back braking work. I could not find any air tapers to rent. I'll probably buy some next time I try it. It takes skill not only in building but designing the mix and getting those nice looking striations. I tried all kinds of mixes, earth oxides, learned I had too much rock and needed mostly sand and clay or different colors. I then did not have a strong enough clay so I tried portland cement, lime, fly ash, that changes the look I was after. I did outdoor and indoor on a house, the outdoor retaining wall fell apart since I did not seal the top right. I got all kinds of varing results some did not even make sense, and learned. It's an acquired skill in time, lots of practice. I don't know how those pro's do it in wet climates but some look great. I did the book cost estimate, did not work out for me, ended up with too much hauling back to the quarry. Logistics is another area, the cops did not like me dumping piles in the street by the curb a big clear lot is a must. The bob cat needs an open space too I did not have. I ended up hand carrying mixes into a house I was finishing a room doing some RE pony walls. What a mess and work.
Its a rehab I have on the market now you can see the pony walls here: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1333-Pauline-St-Augusta-KS-67010/1327433_zpid/
Not bad for a first, some like them some don't.
Mike Cantrell wrote:
Matthew Tubman wrote:
I was thinking around 1500 sqft. 3-4 bedroom.
If i recall correctly, you're going to be at a similar price to stick framing. For something that size, you're going to want power equipment: a Bobcat to move piles of dirt around, a pneumatic tamper, and the monster air compressor that the tamper needs.
Remember that when rammed earth is a vernacular architecture, 3-4 bedrooms serve 6-10 people. Doing a big house like that by hand, it happens everywhere, but it happens with 12 people, not 1 plus a couple of part-time employees.
Our 21st-c-American appetite for square footage CAN be adapted to traditional architecture. But it requires adaptation. 1-4 people can build a 12-person project... with power equipment.